MOUNT EVEREST FAST TRACK EXPEDITION TRIP NOTES
2024 EXPEDITION DETAILS
Dates: April 19 to May 28, 2024
Duration: 40 days
Departure: ex Kathmandu, Nepal
Price: US$83,900 per person
During the spring season of 2024, Adventure Consultants will operate its 28th expedition to Mount Everest via the South Col from Nepal.
This expedition will bring together the very best components in high altitude guiding to attempt Mount Everest. Calling on our many years of experience, our very qualified guides and Sherpa crew offer the most seasoned team in the industry and the most professionally run expeditions available. We can quite confidently say that our expedition offers you the most resources, the highest guide/Sherpa-to-client ratio with the best equipment, food and Base Camp support of any expedition operator, making Adventure Consultants the best value for money.
If you have a desire to stand on the highest summit in the world, this is an exciting opportunity and Adventure Consultants can provide you with an excellent chance of achieving that goal. We believe the ascent should be made in the best style possible, a philosophy that has seen us help our expedition members achieve many successful ascents and given us the best reputation in the arena of high altitude expedition guiding.
FAST TRACK STRATEGY
Our Fast Track programme caters to climbers who wish to maximise their time and are able to pre-acclimatise prior to arriving in Nepal, either using a system like Hypoxico or on peaks of at least 5,500m/18,000ft.
Our Fast Track team flies by helicopter directly from Kathmandu to Pheriche Village for two nights at 4,270m/14,000ft. We quickly move through to camp at higher elevations, firstly at Lobuche Base Camp (4,800m/15,750ft) for a further two nights. We then climb to Low Camp at 5,200m/17,000ft. We will climb high and sleep low from this camp, then climb to sleep at 5,600m/18,400ft for one night. The following day we climb to the summit Lobuche East (6,119m/20,075ft) and descend to Base Camp.
This program enables a solid reinforcement of your prior acclimatisation and enables us to eliminate one rotation on Everest. Moving on to Everest Base Camp, we do one rotation to Camp 3 height (7,400m/24,280ft) and then we are ready to commit to the expedition’s summit phase.
Training in a simulated high altitude environment has scientifically proven health and performance benefits. Altitude training has been a method employed by high performance athletes for a number of years, and now an increasing number of high-altitude mountaineers are employing similar techniques with sleep and training systems such as Hypoxico on Everest. Similar results can also be achieved by achieved climbing peaks of at least 5,500m/18,000ft.
By sleeping and training in a simulated high altitude environment, your body gains the benefits of preacclimatisation. This can help you to adjust faster to the lower levels of oxygen while you’re trekking and climbing, thus giving you the best opportunity to achieve your goals, as well as the ability to achieve them in a shortened timeframe.
THE EVEREST TEAM LOGISTICS
The 2024 expedition is being organised by Guy Cotter, the director of Adventure Consultants and a veteran of 29 years of Everest expedition guiding and organisation.
With technology constantly evolving, Adventure Consultants have kept abreast of all the new techniques and equipment advancements—encompassing the latest in weather forecasting facilities, equipment innovations and communications systems. Everest is not the place to be with an organisation that is ‘learning the ropes’, there is too much at stake for that. Adventure Consultants expedition staff, along with the operations and logistics team at the head office in New Zealand, provide the highest level of backup and support to the climbing team to maximise your chances of success. This is coupled with a very strong expedition guiding team and Sherpa contingent, who as you will come to see are second-to-none in the industry.
EXPEDITION GUIDING TEAM
Our international guiding staff are the best in the industry. You will find the Adventure Consultants Mountain Guides companionable and strong expedition leaders with considerable abilities and a willingness to see you achieve your goals. The number of guides is determined by the team size but the normal ratio of guides to members is 1:4.
Ang Dorjee Sherpa
Summiting Everest initially with us in 1992, Ang Dorjee has moved on to achieve 30 ascents of 8,000m peaks, including Everest 22 times! His skills as a climber are legendary. Ang Dorjee is originally from Pangboche Village in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal, but he now lives in the USA. He guides on Mount Rainier and leads Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro expeditions for Adventure Consultants. He has guided on our successful Everest 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2023 expeditions.Rob Smith
Rob Smith has been guiding since 2000. He divides his time guiding between the Antarctic summer seasons and then amongst the greater ranges of the Himalaya. Originally from Omagh, Northern Ireland, Rob is now based in Fort William, Scotland. He has guided for Adventure Consultants for many years and his notable guided ascents include Everest, Vinson Massif, Cho Oyu, Carstensz and Elbrus, amongst many others. Rob has summited Everest 7 times and has climbed both the North and South routes.Mark Austin
Mark started climbing in 1994 at age 20 and began guiding in 2007, reaching his IFMGA Mountain and Ski Guide status in early 2012. He has climbed extensively in Canada, France, Nepal and New Zealand. A ski patroller and self-proclaimed gear freak, Mark is never short of a conversational topic and enjoys sharing good times in the hills with those he’s guiding. Mark guided on our Everest 2023 expedition.
Our Sherpa team has dozens of Everest summits between them. Da Jangbu Sherpa is the Expedition and Climbing Sirdar who has summited Everest an impressive 13 times and brings with him considerable knowledge and experience.
Because of his leadership, we have a legendary group of Climbing Sherpas who operate in a harmonious atmosphere of cooperation and commitment to the expedition and its members. Our group of Climbing Sherpas is enthusiastic, motivated and regarded as the strongest and most cohesive group of Sherpas on Mount Everest. It is indicative of the reputation that our Sherpa team has earned that Sherpas from other expeditions enthusiastically pursue a future position with the AC team.
Our cooking staff are very well known for the quality of the cuisine they produce and are coveted by other team leaders due to the reputation they have established. We have been developing the personnel within our Sherpa team for 26 years and they are an integral part of the Adventure Consultants Everest Team.
WHAT IT TAKES TO CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST
The South Col route on Mount Everest is not an especially technically difficult climb—nor is it the ‘Yak Route’ some non-Everest climbers have termed it. However, it is imperative that expedition members
are well versed in the latest techniques and have experience in the high mountain environment.
What the photographs do not show are the difficulties of operating at these extreme altitudes. It is a physically demanding ascent, requiring enormous determination and stamina. An expedition to Everest is not a place for those who will give up when the going gets uncomfortable or strenuous. Days can be up to 15 hours long and although we have lightened the loads you personally carry by having enough Sherpa support to carry your equipment, the days are still arduous and taxing, especially over the 7–9 weeks of the expedition.
The outcome of the expedition will be determined by three broad groups of factors. The first is environmental (weather and snow conditions, etc.). The second is the logistical approach taken by the expedition leaders and the strategies employed to embark on a summit bid. The third is your own preparation in the years prior to the expedition and how you perform whilst the expedition is under way. We can help design a training programme that will both physically and mentally prepare you for the climb, but you need to commit the time and energy to ensure you attain the correct conditioning.
We know that the success of an expedition is determined by factors that are planned well in advance of the outset of the actual climbing. During our 26 previous seasons on Mount Everest, we have observed many other groups attempting to climb the mountain. Many try to emulate our strategies without committing to the level of resources that we provide.
Every step of the way, our head office staff will be there to answer your questions. If they can’t, they will be happy to put you in touch with one of our Senior International Guides who will have first-hand knowledge of the climb.
We recognise that no amount of finely tuned organisation will guarantee anyone the summit of Mount Everest. However, we do believe that our experience, combined with your enthusiasm and determination, will provide you with the best possible chance of standing on top of the world. Our track record on Everest is unmatched with 360 summits to date!
HOW DO I CHOOSE BETWEEN THE VARIOUS EXPEDITION PROVIDERS?
It is very important to us that our team members have compatible expectations with the expedition we run. We don’t want to merely ‘fill our expedition’ but instead we want a team made up of companionable people who are focused on reaching the summit in good style with the highest level of support and safety standards, as can be provided by a guiding service on
Mount Everest accompanied by the best standards of food and equipment that is attainable.
So, what is the difference between us and the rest? We could make a lot of claims about how much better we are than the rest, but it is our clients who are the best judge. We are happy to put you in touch with some of our past clients who are so impressed that they have offered testimonials, so please contact us for their contact details.
WHICH ROUTE? NORTH OR SOUTH?
The South Col route from Nepal offers the best chance of success for most climbers. High royalty fees by the Nepalese government have created a large disparity between the costs of Everest expeditions from Nepal and Tibet.
We encourage you to research details about both sides of the mountain. People will argue the virtues of either of the two approaches. However, we maintain that the ‘entire package’ of the Nepal side makes it the preferred option: the delightful approach through the Sherpa homelands via the Khumbu Valley, enjoying Sherpa hospitality in modern lodges with good food and all the while being impressed by the spectacular
scenery of the incredible peaks of the lower Khumbu.
The Khumbu Icefall has a fearsome reputation and it is indeed a phenomenal route to climb. Yet it is an integral characteristic of the South side that it is a ‘Climbers Route’ that requires a mountaineer to be well skilled in the use of crampons and an ice axe. The Western Cwm is renowned for its phenomenal views of Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori and Cho Oyu, and our Camp 2 is situated directly beneath the imposing black hulk of the notorious Southwest Face. As we climb higher up the route to South Col, the views become even more outstanding with incredible vistas along the Himalayan chain and out towards the lowlands of Nepal. We ascend 900m/3,000ft from the South Col on summit day via moderate snow slopes with the occasional rock step to climb over. As we approach the South Summit, the dawn breaks to reveal astounding views from Kanchenjunga in the East to Shishapangma off to the West, with all the peaks of the Khumbu well below us. The traverse along the summit ridge is exposed and exciting. When we make our way up the Hillary Step, we can look 2,400m/7,900ft straight down onto our Camp 2 in the Western Cwm and 3,000m/9,800ft down the opposite side of the ridge into Tibet! The summit itself provides ample space for the obligatory summit photo and is a time to reflect on the journey thus far. For many, it is one of the most poignant moments of a lifetime.
After the summit we descend via the same route, losing height quickly and generally we arrive back at the South Col some 3–4 hours after leaving the summit. On the north side, climbers must do a long traverse and it is this feature where climbers cannot lose elevation quickly that can cause the demise of tired climbers, especially those who have run out of oxygen.
We only climb on Everest during the spring season because the weather becomes progressively warmer, and the days longer. Winter winds have already scoured away much of the snow, which significantly reduces the snow avalanche hazard as well. Contrast this with the autumn; typically, as the expedition goes on, the days get shorter and colder with more snowfall. Consequently, very few expeditions are undertaken in the fall and those that do have quite a low percentage chance of success.
By the time we first arrive at Everest Base Camp, a route will already be well established with rope and ladders through the Khumbu Icefall. Our main Everest climbing team will have completed their first rotation on the mountain and our strong Sherpa team will be busily involved in ferrying loads of equipment up the mountain. After a few days’ acclimatisation at Base Camp, we will climb through to Camp 3 (7,300m/23,700ft) before returning to Base Camp for a rest period.
In a perfect scenario, weather and health would remain constant, but in reality, factors such as weather can add several days to the acclimatisation process.
The most likely time for our summit climb will be between 15 and 25 May, with previous summit dates being:
10 May 1990
12 May 1992
10 May 1993
24 May 2008
19 May 2009
22 May 2010
23 May 2023
21 May 2007
We will climb through the established camps with lightweight packs and climb to Camp 4 (7,950m/26,300ft) on the South Col. All climbers will be sleeping on bottled oxygen before setting out for the summit, carrying only very lightweight Russian oxygen
bottles and using Summit oxygen masks. Sherpas and Western guides will accompany all members during the summit climb.
There is no definite measure for assessing the required skill level to climb Mount Everest, so we do like to discuss this on an individual basis. However, there are some broad guidelines that can be applied from the outset.
A successful team member will have been visiting the mountains for at least five seasons and made ascents of peaks up to 5,500–6,000m/18–20,000ft. It is quite
common for members to have previously climbed Denali in Alaska, Aconcagua in South America and various Mexican volcanoes as training for Everest.
They will be familiar with crevasse rescue and glacier travel techniques and have a good overall standard of fitness. There will ideally be a broad set of climbing skills from basic rock climbing to advanced cramponing on snow and ice, and strong rope skills such as rappelling and rope ascending.
Age itself is no barrier. To date, we have succeeded on Mount Everest with members aged from 20 to 66 years of age. A fierce determination and a burning desire to climb the mountain are essential prerequisites for this expedition. The guides and other expedition staff will provide the leadership, tactics and overall decisionmaking required during the climb, but you will still have to physically put one foot in front of the other to make it to the top and back.
We recommend that prospective members undertake another expedition with us before attempting Mount Everest. Your ability to reach Everest’s summit may be dictated by your understanding of how your body responds to very high altitude and ascending other less demanding peaks at high altitude will increase your confidence and enhance your judgement during summit day on Everest. For example, Cho Oyu from Tibet is an excellent venue to learn about the problems of extreme high altitude, without the time or financial commitment that Everest requires.
The full Everest team will have a maximum size of 3 guides and 12 members. The Fast Track option has a minimum size of 2 members.
The Base Camp will be staffed by a medical doctor, Base Camp manager and Sherpa kitchen crew, usually totalling 7–10 people depending on group size.
A team of between fifteen and twenty Climbing Sherpas will carry loads and support the summit climb. Adventure Consultants have a ratio of at least one Sherpa for each team member or guide per person on summit day.
Sherpa cooks will occupy Camp 2 in the Western Cwm for the duration of the expedition. Their role is not only to provide us with tasty meals but also to maintain the integrity of Camp 2 during inclement weather. Often our assistant cook will trek down to meet us enroute from Camp 1 with tea or juice!
Dates: 19 April to 28 May, 2024
Following is an ideal itinerary for our Everest Fast Track Expedition:
Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu, Nepal
Day 2 Fly by helicopter to Pheriche (4,270m/14,009ft)
Day 3 Rest day in Pheriche and acclimatisation hike
Day 4 Trek to Lobuche Base Camp (4,800m/15,750ft)
Day 5 Rest day and preparations
Day 6 Climb to Low Camp (5,200m/17,000ft)
Day 7 Climb towards Lobuche High Camp, return to Low Camp
Day 8 Move to Lobuche High Camp (5,600m/18,400ft)
Day 9 Summit Lobuche East (6,119m/20,075ft). Return to Lobuche Base Camp
Day 10 Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,300m/17,400ft)
Days 11–14 Rest and preparation at Base Camp
Days 15–22 Acclimatisation climbing rotation on Everest
Days 23–27 Rest Period
Days 28–38 Summit Climb Period
Day 39 Fly by helicopter from Base Camp to Kathmandu
Days 40 Depart Kathmandu
NOTE: Actual ascent dates may be less or more than this itinerary subject to factors such as weather conditions, climber adaptation to higher altitudes, rope fixing schedules and so on. There is potential in an ideal
season for the trip to be completed in 40 days as in the itinerary above.
Please arrive into Kathmandu by mid-afternoon of April 19 as we have our first team briefing that very evening. Our permit for climbing Mount Everest allows us to stay on the mountain into June. We strongly suggest that you keep your homeward flight open dated and flexible so that we can extend into the latter part of May for a summit attempt if need be. We have May 28 as the probable finish date for departing from Kathmandu.
AC provides a high flow oxygen package for all team members included in the expedition fee.
Many have found this critical to their success on Everest and we have seen our summit rate increase dramatically
with its use. The response from our team members has also been phenomenally positive. Climbers have reported having better energy levels, a better appetite, more warmth, a higher degree of strength and greater enjoyment on summit day.
We also ensure we have enough oxygen to wait a day at the South Col and Camp 4, before attempting the summit.
Our recent experiences show that for those who really want to maximise their chance of success, then these high oxygen flow rates allow the best option for ensuring you only need to attempt Mount Everest one time!
Another service we now include in the expedition price is ‘Additional Sherpa Support’. This enables climbers to forego the carrying of heavy packs, which is often very debilitating at high altitude. For some climbers, the long climb with a pack up to the top camp at South Col can leave them too exhausted for summit day and hence this service greatly enhances your summit opportunity.
We are also able to offer Privately Guided Fast Track Expeditions where you have the services of a top AC Western Guide, as well as your own Sherpa support team to work exclusively with you on the expedition to ensure your needs are best met. AC has been fortunate to work with many privately guided groups over the years with exceptional results.
You may also like to talk to us about other options such as an Everest Traverse South–North, personal communication systems, helicopter upgrade or the provision of a personal tent on the mountain.
For more information on these additional services, please contact our office for details.
AC provides a dedicated doctor at Base Camp for the whole team as standard. Most other teams use a generic medical provider, whilst our doctor is there primarily for you and your team mates. The doctor will monitor your overall health throughout the expedition and our medical equipment and provisions are there to provide for your health care needs.
Ample resources will be on call to support every climber, not just the first team or fittest members. Remember, this is an expedition led by guides who have already climbed Everest and whose job it is to look after your interests. This should not be confused with a ‘professionally led’ expedition, where often you may be buying a place in a team with fewer support services and led by climbers who are attempting the summit primarily for themselves. There are also ‘Sherpa led’ expeditions where you are placed in the hands of a Sherpa for the climb. This can seem alluring, especially when some expedition operators will encourage you to join so they can fill their available spaces, but all too often these are expeditions with over 20 members! The Sherpas are not trained in medical techniques and are often reluctant to act effectively in situations requiring urgency. This is where the skills and experience of your Western Guide become invaluable. Too often expedition members find out the deficiencies of their guides/operators when things begin to go wrong and that is usually too late.
Expedition members will need to arrange their own entry visa into Nepal. This can be organised by a Nepalese Embassy or Consular office in your own country or at Kathmandu Airport on arrival in Nepal. Currently, the easiest and best place to obtain a visa is on arrival at Kathmandu Airport.
Visa application forms can be downloaded off the web and we will also send you a copy prior to your
departure. You will need to get a 90-day visa which costs US$125. Once in Kathmandu, the expedition’s agent will provide an expedition permit to match. If you choose to get your visa at the Kathmandu Airport, you will need to have a passport photo handy.
The expedition will be equipped with portable Thuraya satellite phone systems for the duration of the expedition in order to provide reliable email and voice communication globally for business, media or personal use. Limited satellite phone time can be purchased at the rate of US$3.00 per minute. Our broadband satellite Wi-Fi connectivity will be available once the expedition is underway and is included in the expedition fee on the basis of a fair use policy. Please contact our office for details.
EQUIPMENT LIST & REFERENCE NOTES
Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all the necessary clothing and equipment to be individually procured, contained within a set of Expedition Reference Notes with all the details for the trip. These notes provide extensive information on everything from suggestions of what type of camera to bring to training advice for your expedition preparation.
MEDICAL EXAMINATION & INSURANCE
Expedition members will be provided with a medical questionnaire by the expedition doctor and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the expedition doctor and Expedition Leader and treated with full confidentiality. Advice on immunisations will be provided at this time. We also require members to have rescue insurance and we will consult with individual team members as to your insurance needs and solutions for coverage.
Expedition members will need to provide a digital passport photograph for climbing and trekking permits and a copy of their passport biodata page.
THE EXPEDITION FEE
The cost of the Everest Fast Track Expedition, ex Kathmandu, is US$83,900.
This is an inclusive cost and covers the following:
• Helicopter flight Kathmandu to Pheriche
• 1:4 Western Guide ratio and 1:1 Sherpa to climber ratio on Everest summit day
• High flow rate bottled oxygen
• Personal equipment carried on the mountain
• Nepalese government royalty fees
• All expedition organisational requirements
• All climbing and trekking permits
• Air transport in Nepal
• All team equipment
• All expedition staff including Sherpa support
• All food whilst away from Kathmandu
• All supplies necessary to make a safe and strong bid for the summit
• Medical services from our Expedition Base Camp Doctor
• Base Camp Wi-Fi (fair-use policy applies) and satellite phone facilities
• Internet dispatch page that is updated daily by guides and Base Camp staff, and semi-hourly on summit day
• dZi Foundation support for their “revitalize a village” programme – likely to include support for a Nepalese child’s education for a year
The expedition fee does not include the following:
• Air travel to and from Nepal
• Rental or purchase of Hypoxico altitude tent for preacclimatisation at home
• Hotel accommodation and meals in Kathmandu
• Nepalese airport entry visas
• Extras on the trek in/out such bottled drinks, showers and laundry
• Personal clothing and equipment
• Personal Insurance/Trip Cancellation Insurance/ Medical Evacuation Insurance
• Actual satellite phone calls
• Gratuities for guides and Sherpa staff
All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:
Bank of New Zealand
42 Willis Street
Spark Central Wellington
For the account of Adventure Consultants Limited.
Account Number: 1000-594771-0000
Account Type: US Dollars
Swift Address: BKNZNZ22
NOTE: All bank transfer charges are for the remitter’s account.
We can also accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard and Amex) plus a 3% card charge.
A non-refundable deposit of US$15,000 is payable to secure a place on the expedition.
The balance of US$68,900 is payable in two instalments of US$34,450.
The first on 20 October 2023 and the second on 20 January 2024.
CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY
An expedition member may cancel his/her participation on the following basis:
a) Prior to 20 January 2024, then on the basis of a 50% refund of the 20 October 2023 balance payment.
b) After 20 January 2024 but before departure to the mountain from Kathmandu then on the basis of no refund of any monies paid.
We strongly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent if you wish to be covered against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons.
HOW TO JOIN THIS EXPEDITION
If you would like to join the Everest Fast Track Expedition, please complete our online booking form and forward your deposit payment at www. adventureconsultants.com/expeditions/seven-summits/ everest-fast-track/book-now
Or contact us if you’d like further information and assistance in planning your trip.
If you require more information, please contact us at:
Adventure Consultants Ltd PO Box 739 Wanaka, 9343 New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 443 8711
Adventure Consultants is affiliated to the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (NZMGA), New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) and a corporate member of the American Alpine Club (AAC). Adventure Consultants is a supporter of the dZi Foundation in Nepal for their ‘Revitalise a Village’ programmes.
Adventure Consultants perform to IFMGA/UIAGM standards and are world leaders in high altitude guiding.
All material Copyright © Adventure Consultants Ltd 2023Sunrise over the world. Photo: Lydia Bradey